Common Postural Deformities
Various types of postural deformities are discussed below:
- Spinal curvature
- Flat foot
- Knock knees
- Bow legs
- Round shoulders
SPINAL CURVATURE: This type of deformity is related to spine. This deformity is caused by carrying excessive weight beyond capacity. In another way we can say that weak muscles cause the formation of spine curvature. The normal lumbar spine is characterised by a moderate anterior hyperextension curve, when viewed laterally. Although there is absolute standard for the determination of the degree or extent of the anterior convexity of the normal lumbar curve. There are three types of spinal deformities:
KYPHOSIS : Kyphosis implies an increase or exaggeration of a backward or posterior curve or a decrease or reversal of a forward curve. It is also called round upperback. Depression of chest is common in kyphosis.
Causes of kyphosis: kyphosis is caused by malnutrition, illness, crowd, deficiency of pure air, insufficient exercises, rickets, carrying heavy loads on shoulders, unsuitable furniture, weak muscles and habit of doing work by leaning forward etc.
Precautions: If specific precautions are not followed, it may result in kyphosis. So, the teachers and parents should pay specific attention on this point. From the very beginning, they should teach appropriate posture of sitting, standing and walking to children so that their posture may remain balanced. The proper exercises are not only helpful in maintaining the proper posture but also control the problem of kyphosis.
Remedies: The following exercises should be performed for remedification of kyphosis :
- Sit in a chair, your buttocks should touch the back of chair. By looking upward, hold your hands each other behind the back in such a way that your shoulders may remain in stretch backwards. Remain in this position for some time:
- Always keep a pillow under your back while sleeping.
- Bend your head backward in standing position.
- Perform the dhanurasana, the yogic asana regularly.
- Lie down in front lying position . keep your hands near the shoulders. Now straighten up your arms slowly, raise the chest. Head should be backwards. Maintain this position for some time
- Hold your arms out at shoulder level and bend elbows. Snap elbows back return to starting position. Repeat this exercise at least 8 times for the best results.
LORDOSIS: Lordosis is the inward curvature of spine. In fact, it is an increased forward curve in the lumber region. It creates problem in standing and walking. The body seems to be stiff. The individual feels shame and inferiority. Lordosis can be corrected in an early stag.
Causes of lordosis: Generally imbalanced diet, improper environment improper development of muscles, obesity and diseases affecting vertebrae and spinal muscles are such causes which result in lordosis. In addition to these causes, not performing exercises and taking excessive food are also major causes of lordosis.
- Balanced diet should be taken
- Obesity should be kept away specially in early age.
- The body should be kept straight while carrying weight.
- Excessive intake of food should be avoided.
Remedies: For remedification of lordosis, following exercises should be performed:
- From standing position bend forward from hip level. Repeat this exercise ten times.
- Lie down your back, raise your head and legs simultaneously for 10 times.
- Perform sit-ups regularly
- Halasana should be performed regularly
- You should lie down in supine position, i.e., on your back, then should raise your legs at 45 degree angle. Remain in this position for some time.
- Toe touching should be performed for at least 10 times.
- Sit down and extend your legs forward. Try to touch your forehead to your knees. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Postural adaptation of the spine in lateral position is called scoliosis. Scoliosis means bending, twisting or rotating. In fact, these are sideways curves and may be called scoliotic curves. These are defined in terms of their convexities. They are identified as either convexity right or right convexity. A simple or single curve to the left or convexity left is commonly called a ‘C’ curve. Scoliotic curve may be found in ‘S' shape.
Causes of scoliosis: Scoliosis may be because of a lot of reasons but the main reasons are disease in the joints of bones, underdeveloped legs, infantile paralysis, rickets etc. It may also be due to carrying heavy weights on one shoulder , unhealthy conditions, like inadequate lightning arrangement, unsuitable desks , partial deafness and wrong standing posture. It may be caused by congenital or acquired abnormalities of vertebrae, muscles or nerves.
- Balanced diet should be taken.
- The study should be avoided in sideways bending position.
- Avoid walking for long time with carrying weight in one hand.
- Scoliosis can be remedied by performing following exercises:
- Bending exercise should be performed in opposite side of ‘c’ shaped curve.
- Hold the horizontal bar with your hands and swing your body to the left and right side.
- To swim by using breast stroke technique.
Flat Foot: Our feet act as the base of support for the body in standing, walking, running and jumping. Flat foot is generally found among newly born babies but it becomes a postural deformity if it still persists during lateral childhood. The children with flat foot deformity cannot be efficient sportspersons. Such children feel pain in feet. They face problem in standing and walking. It is easy observe whether a person has flat foot deformity or not. Dip your feet in water and walk on the floor. If there is not a proper arch of footprints on the floor then you have the deformity of flat foot . in fact, there should be proper arch of the feet.
Causes of flat foot : The main causes of flat foot is weak muscles. Weak muscles of the foot cannot bear the body weight. Hence, feet become flat or without arches. Along with this rapid increase in body weight, improper shoes, carrying heavy weight for a longer period are also the cause of flat foot.
- The shoes should be of proper shape and size.
- Don’t walk bare feet for a long duration
- Obesity should be avoided.
- Don’t force babies to walk at very early stage.
- Carrying heavy weight in early childhood should be avoided.
- High heeled shoes should be avoided.
Remedies: the following exercises should be performed to remedify this deformity:
- Walking on heels.
- Walking on inner and outer side of feet.
- Waling on toes.
- To perform up and down the heels.
- Jumping on toes for sometime .
- To skip on rope.
- To perform Vajrasana, the yogic asana.
KNOCK KNEES: The Knock knees are one of the major postural deformities. In this deformity, both the knees knock or touch each other in normal standing position. The gap between ankles goes on increasing. The individual faces difficulty in walking and running. He cannot walk or run in a proper manner. Owing to this deformity, they cannot be good players and even they are not selected in defence services.
Causes: Generally, the lack of balanced diet especially vitamin ’D’, calcium and phosphorus is the main cause of knock knees. It may also be due to rickets. Chronic illness, obesity, flat foot and carrying heavy weight in early age may be other possible causes of knock knees.
- Balanced diet should be taken.
- Babies should not be forced to walk at very early age.
Remedies: To remedify this deformity, the following points should be taken in to consideration :
- Horse-riding is the best exercise for remedification of this deformity.
- Perform padmasana and gomukasana regularly for some time.
- Cod liver may be beneficial in reducing this deformity up to some extent.
- Keep a pillow between the knees and stand erect for some time.
- Use of walking callipers may also be beneficial.
- In severe cases, consult the doctor.
Bow legs: ‘Bow legs’ is also a postural deformity. Approximately, it is opposite to knock knees position. If there is wide gap between the knees when standing with feet together, the individual has bow legs or genu varum. In this deformity, the knees are widely apart. There remains a wide gap between knees when a bow legged person keeps his feet together. This deformity can be observed easily, when an individual walks or runs.
Causes: the main cause of bow legs is the deficiency of calcium and phosphorus in bones. Long bones of legs become soft, hence they are bent outwards. The chances of bow legs also increase when the children become overweight. This deformity may be because of the deficiency of vitamin ‘D’. Improper way of walking and forcing the babies to walk at very early age may also lead to bow legs.
- Don’t let the children become overweight.
- Don’t force the babies to walk at a very early age.
- Balanced diet should be given to children. There should not be any deficiency of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin‘d’ in the diet.
Remedies: The following measures should be taken for remedification of bow legs
- Vitamin ‘D ’ should be taken in required amount .
- Balanced diet should be taken.
- Bow legs can be corrected by walking on the inner edge of the feet.
- Walking by bending the toes in ward.
ROUND SHOULDER: in this type of deformity the shoulder become round and sometimes they seem to be in bent forwards.
- Round shoulders may be due to heredity.
- Sitting, Standing and walking in bent position may also result in round shoulders.
- By wearing very tight clothes.
- Sitting on improper furniture.
- Lack of proper exercise especially of shoulders may lead to round shoulders.
- To become habitual to press the chest.
- Don’t sit, walk or stand in bent position.
- Avoid tight fitting clothes.
- Avoid sitting on improper furniture at the time of bench press.
Remedies: the following should be performed for the remedification of round shoulder deformity:
- Keep your tips of fingers on your shoulder and encircle your elbows in clockwise and anticlockwise direction
- Hold the horizontal bar for some time.
- Perform chakrasana and dhanurasana regularly.